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Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code simply talks about the cruelty by husband or his relatives. In other words, if the spouse of a woman or her husband’s near relative commits any kind of physical or mental cruelty upon a woman, then the doers shall be subjected under this section of IPC.

According to the act, cruelty includes:

1. Any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman.

2. Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demands for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.

The punishment as provided under section 498A is up to 3 years. If the offence is reported to an officer, then the officer shall have the power to arrest the culprit without any arrest warrant (cognizable offence)

The main purpose behind including section 498A in IPC was to protect a married woman who was subject to cruelty by her husband or the in-laws behind the four walls. Another reason to include this section in IPC was the increase in dowry deaths in that time. So to avoid such an increasing number of dowry death and woman being subject to cruelty, this section was included to empower women.

Section 498A was inserted via amendment of 1983 to empower married women and speak up against cruelty at matrimonial homes.

Before such an amendment, many married women were prone to death because of dowry. It was a normal scenario before 1983 when people used to harass the daughter-in-law for the demand of dowry. There was no such limit of such cases, women were burnt, assaulted by the husband’s family member. Many helpless women also committed suicide because there was no way available with them to stop such behavior and be safe. The act was introduced to favour and help married women from such cruelty by her in-laws.

Section 498a, under IPC, is a non-bailable offence. That is, no bail shall be granted to the person booked under this section.

No. Section 498a is a non-compoundable offense. In other words, a person booked under section 498a cannot make a compromise with the victim to remove the charges against him.

The court has provided that the offence under section 498a is violative of Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 20 (Protection in respect of conviction of offence). The case in which such constitutionality was provided was Inder Raj Malik and others vs. Mrs. Sumita Malik.

Section 113-A of the Indian Evidence Act talks about the presumption with regards to dowry death. It simply states that if the woman has been subjected to cruelty or harassment, soon before her death, with relation to demand of dowry, then the death of the woman shall be presumed to be as a dowry death and such person is liable for her death.

Any such act of harassment that amounts to cruelty can be dealt with under this section. Regular drinking and coming late to the home resulting in beating wife for the demand of dowry is taken into consideration of acts that can be booked under this section.

No, just drinking in routine and coming home late does not amount to the definition of cruelty under this section. But drinking clubbed with beating your spouse may end you up getting arrested under section 498a.

Below mentioned acts shall be treated as an act of cruelty:

Cruelty by vexatious litigation

Cruelty by deprivation and wasteful habits

Cruelty by persistent demand

Cruelty by extra-marital relations

Harassment for non-dowry demand

Cruelty by non-acceptance of baby girl

Cruelty by false attacks on chastity

Taking away children

The meaning of cruelty was explained in the case of Inder Raj Malik vs. Sunita Malik that the word cruelty is defined in the explanation of section 498a which states that harassment of a woman with a view to coerce her or any related persons to meet any unlawful demand for any property or any valuable security is cruelty.

By the introduction of the amendment act of 1983, it also provided for the introduction of section 113-A in the Indian evidence act which basically provides for presumption clause regarding the abetment of suicide by a married woman.

The Delhi High Court has cleared this contention that a person can't be tried twice under two acts as it would amount to double jeopardy which is illegal. Hence, a person cannot be tried for the same act in two different statutes.

Section 4 of the dowry prohibition act talks about only the punishment for dowry. Whereas section 498a of IPC talks about punishment for cruelty for the demand of dowry. The later one is an aggravated form of an offense whereas the former one is merely the section which defines dowry and punishment for the same.

The supreme court of India has declared activities under section 498a as ‘legal terrorism’ because of the following reasons: It is executed under the criminal proceedings and not under civil courts. Being a non-bailable offense, the offense is tried as legal terrorism. Even a pregnant woman, who may or may not be a part of ‘day to day’ family life can be booked under this offense. The culprit is presumed as guilty under this section until proven innocent. The act is non-compoundable which hinders the chances of reconciliation between the parties. Old aged parents who lived their life with dignity has to now live the rest of their life with shame and between the people judging them as the harassers of their daughter-in-law. Some even commit suicide as they are not able to sustain the depression of false accusations. The whole family ends up paying the compensation asked by the spouse in the case which the family members saved for their future life and bad health. By section 498a, a woman seeks to get a divorce at a much faster rate even if there was no such demand for dowry. Some women also marry NRI just to extract a huge amount of money by filing a false case under section 498a after the marriage. There is no prohibition clause in the section as such to stop a woman from misusing the provide power in the section.

Yes, a woman still can file a complaint against the husband or any relative of the husband under this section. The section expressly provides for the arrest of the person without any proper verification or investigation.

Yes, the wife can still file a case under section 498a as it doesn’t require verification or any investigation before the arrest.

One shall safeguard himself and his family first. Converse in a polite way. Record all sorts of conversation, especially the threatening one, from phone calls to even text messages, make a copy for each evidence and never provide the original copy to anyone, even to your lawyer. One can find many free call recording apps now available on every platform. Do file a complaint regarding such threatening calls in the nearest police station and do mention all the false allegations which have been made on to you. Make a request to the police officer to make stop these threatening calls. File a case for Restitution of Conjugal Rights and do specifically mention the terms and conditions for living together again. Collect and keep every evidence to prove that neither you nor your family member has ever demanded dowry. Collect proof that the spouse has left the matrimonial home without any such grave reason. Make sure that the spouse does not get to know that any of the family members is an NRI. Wherever you go, have a proof for every visit. For example, if you have gone to watch a movie, keep the tickets of the movie or bill of every shopping you have done as a piece of evidence.

No, going for divorce shall lead you into more complex legal problems and issues. It is recommended to go for divorce after you get the relief under the Restitution of Conjugal rights.

The simple way is to disown them legally. In other words, ask the parents to draft an affidavit and publish it as a legal notice in two newspapers stating that they have disowned you. When the police officer shall come to arrest them, they can show such legal notice in the newspaper as proof. In case if then also the police took away your parents, you can apply for bail/ anticipatory bail by showing such legal notice published in the newspaper.

It would be of no use if you'll give all your hard-earned money. There won't be any money left with you in order to fight your case and would end up being a bonded labour. If one still wants to pay, just pay explicitly, as in by cheque so that the transaction shall be used as proof against them.

Write the same complaint letter by yourself and submit it in the respective police station in order to get a received stamp on the copy of your complaint. If the police refuse to give a stamped copy, address the same complaint to the police officer-in-charge and mention 'CC'ed to SP' at the end of the letter. If still, one is not able to receive a stamped copy, then send your complaint to the police station via registered post and receive the acknowledgment of that.

Yes, one must first file a complaint as it is very important to get the acknowledgement and tell them to not take any action. Even if they would say they will, they'll not.

You have many options in this scenario: Ask the station in-charge the reason for not filing the complaint in writing. Approach the Superintendent of Police of the district and ask for his help. Contact the media and tell them about the issue. You can also contact NGOs, Human rights activists. They may come in handy in these kinds of situations. If all of the above solutions don’t work, then the final option one has to approach directly to the magistrate of the court and file the complaint to him. He has the power to take cognizance of the matter.

Whatever is given to a spouse, at the time or after the marriage as a gift, by any side of the party, shall be included in Stridhan. Even the things purchased by her after the marriage shall be considered as a part of StriDhan. But, Streedhan shall not include all the gifts and articles which shall be provided to the husband at the time of marriage

No, the money taken at the time of family emergency or during a family crisis cannot be included in the dowry.

No, one cannot demand back such expenditure incurred by the family of a man at the time of divorce.

Simply, collect the evidence in favour of yourself and present in the court that no article is being held by the in-laws of the woman and that she has the streedhan.

In this case, firstly ask your wife to provide the bill regarding such streedhan and if she is able to provide, then kindly provide only those articles of which she has provided the bill as evidence, and take from her in the writing as to what has been received by her, in order if she present any false bill in court then one shall be able to file an FIR under section 420 against her.

No, in fact it has been advised to not to provide any commitment kind of statements in Women cell, rather avoid using words like Shall/will. You can request a women cell to first ask the wife to stop threatening the husband and if she has any problem then she can finally go to family courts and opt for civil remedies instead of making false criminal charges.

Yes, in case you know that she is going to charge you and your family under this section, you can apply for anticipatory bail as soon as the complaint goes to Centre for Women.

It shall be a grave mistake if one goes to a police station knowing that a complaint has already been filed under the section and one shall get arrested. Rather going to the police, one shall send his lawyer at first to know the information about the complaint. It is advised to go underground for a time and apply for anticipatory bail ASAP.

First of all file for a regular bail in the court. Secondly, if you’re not been arrested by the police, do not get surrendered by yourself, infact start collecting evidence to proove your innocence. Also, write letters to PM, President, media houses, NGOs, Human rights and tell them about the misuse of the section and cook your story and built up your defence.

The extradition procedures are too complex and many accused of murder have still not got extradited. Thus there is almost nill chances that one shall be extradited on this charge. It’s said just to make one harass and confused.

Firstly, file a divorce petition in the place you’re residing, provided that you’re eligible for that based on your local laws. Apply for anticipatory bail for you and your parents with regards to your parents where they live in India. When you finally get a divorce, make it legalise in India. You can also file counter cases of forgery and defamation against her to make your side strong.

Yes, indeed she can oppose one’s application of bail via her lawyer.

You can file a case under section 227 of Cr.PC stating that the case filed under section 498a is false, if she doesn't have competent proof to prove her case, one can ask the magistrate to quash the case filed by her. One can also counter file cases under certain laws against wife, such as: 32, 120B, 167 (investigation cannot be completed in 24 hours), 182 (offenses committed by letters), 191 (transfer on application of the accused), 197 (prosecution of judges and public servants), 199 (defamation), 200 (examination of complainant), 201 (Magistrate not competent), 204, 209 (triable exclusively by Court of Session), 211, 249 (absence of complainant), 250 (compensation for accusation), 306, 321 (withdrawal from prosecution), 323 (commit to Session Court), 355, 378, 379, 384 (summary dismissal of appeal), 392 (judge of Court of Appeal are equally divided), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420, 467 (period of limitation), 471, 497 (adultery), 499, 500 (defamation), 504 (insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), RCR Damage recovery case u/s 9 of CPC (law of torts): If she breaks into your home, creates a scene, and goes to " protection officer " and lies that you abused her physically, emotionally or economically, file a damage recovery case u/s 9 of CPC against her. Legally, you must issue notice on the same day or next day. The suit will continue for a long time. It has no risk. Also, u/s 9 of CPC (law of torts), claim damages for loss of consortium.

The only way to get assurance that the ex-wife won’t be filing any case in future is by making her understand that you shall not be taking the second case lightly and you shall be taking strict actions against the inappropriate false case filed against him by her. You can also make her understand that you shall be filing for forgery, defamation and such other cases against her if she would even try to file such false cases.

AP High Court, Susarala Subramanya Shetty Vs S Padmavati, CMA 3155 of 2002. CORAM: Hon’ble J Chalameshwar & Gopala Krishna Tamada (Alleging Impotency amounts to immense mental agony and cruelty) Rajasthan High Court, Nirmala Manohar Singh Vs Manohar Shivram Jagesha, First Appeal No 589 of 1985 CORAM: Hon’ble Mr. A V Savant (Alleging Impotency amounts to immense mental agony and cruelty) Rajasthan High Court, Smt Shanti Devi Vs Raghav Prakash, CMA 19 of 1982 CORAM: Hon’ble Mr. Guman Lal Lodha (Alleging Impotency amounts to immense mental agony and cruelty) Delhi High Court, Ashok Sharma Vs Santosh Sharma, FOA No 118 of 1982 Sorry, seems to have lost this judgment so can’t give CORAM (Alleging Impotency amounts to immense mental agony and cruelty) MP High Court, Smt Chandan Agarwal Vs Mukesh Kr. Agarwal FOA 39 of 1995 Hon’ble N P Singh (Alleging Impotency and lodging 498a and defaming family for dowry amounts to immense mental agony and cruelty)

One can get a maximum of rs. 3000/month. Exceptions can be there.

One can get a maximum of rs. 10,000/month. Exceptions can be there.

Yes, one can appeal against the order of maintenance within a period of 3 months from the order of maintenance.

There are some ways in which one can get his maintenance reduced: If the wife is working, then you can get the maintenance reduced on this ground. If the wife has a property in her name, then one can get the maintenance amount reduced under section 25(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act. You can explain your liabilities and monthly expenditure like house rent, medical expenses of old parents, liabilities towards sisters, loan payments, PFs, etc. Adultery or remarriage with some other person by wife voids the scope of getting any maintenance. (S 125 of Cr.PC) The wife refuses to live with the husband without any sufficient reason (S 125(4) of Cr.PC) Both are living separately by mutual consent. (S. 125(4) of Cr.PC)

A wife can only claim her residential right in the property in which both husband and wife stayed together lastly.

A husband who provides a one-time lump sum amount rather than providing monthly maintenance is called ‘One-time Alimony’. Sometimes, the husband is forced to provide such an amount which he cannot give and the woman is instigated to ask for such a huge amount of one-time alimony as possible. Often it has been found in these cases that parties are involved in such one-time alimony cases who have a defined share in the amount.

Generally, it takes 3 months to file a charge sheet. If the time taken is more than that, then one can opt for the following ways: Ask the investigating officer to issue a certificate which says that complaint under Section 498a is false. One can opt for filing an RTI One can opt for the quashing of FIR.

In this case, one can appeal to the high court and ask for the stay of the complaint under the Domestic Violence Act as a complaint under section 498a is already ongoing. A stay can be put upon such a complaint until the case is disposed of.

A husband, in this case, is the best judge for himself. He knows his wife more than anyone else and can take such chances at his own risk. It has been seen in some cases that after living together, the wife has filed a case under section 304B and has put the person into jail. Most of the 304B cases are filed due to this reason only.

First of all, it is very important to know that a person cannot sign such a document and come under such a contract with any other person. As even in child custody cases, if there has been an agreement between the parties regarding custody, such agreement can be challenged anytime by the wife in any court of law. Only things which can work related to such an agreement are the agreements for property, cash or kind or other assets. Even if you come under an agreement regarding domestic violence and if something happened, then the wife can file a case for that and even the US court shall hold you liable and would not take into consideration such agreement. Once the charges proved wrong, the husband can file for the losses that occurred during the time period, but if the wife is not working, then a husband can’t do much to recover such losses incurred.

After getting an ex-parte decree from the court of law, one must send a copy of it through a registered post firstly, to the last known residence known to the husband. Also, he must publish the said decree in two newspapers, the edition of which is circulated in her city too. After that, the person is free, he can also remarry with another person after a month of such publishing.

The behavior of these counseling centers is not good as such, rather not sincere I should say. If the person is an NRI, then the police tries its best to file a case under section 498a. Some unofficial also say that these NGOs, under which such counseling centers run, have a share in the bribe they get from the woman who has filed such a false case.

First of all, never go for a compromise or out of the court settlement, as in the eyes of the society, if you’ll go for such settlement, it would be seen as you have accepted the guilt and you have done such assault on the woman. This would also get in mind that you are prone to blackmailing and your next wife can blackmail and sue you for the same in order to make money from you. Despite that, if one wants to go for out of court settlement, then he shall wait till the orders of high court or supreme court are finalized on the matter including the divorce decree. One should also get this in writing from her and her relatives in the same agreement and get it notarized. Also, tell them to file a court statement under section 156 of IPC that they shall not challenge any order in any court and they shall be taking back all the cases filed against husband and his relative from all the courts.

No, the power of compounding such cases under section 498a is versed with only high courts and supreme court, as it was done once by the high court of Andhra Pradesh. Lower courts don’t have such authority or power to do that.

One may use section 451 and section 457 which are related to house-trespass of the Indian Penal Code.

Suggest your lawyer to use section 437 to get the relaxation and suggest him to file a petition under section 205 for a quick redressal.

Generally, one can see a lawyer encouraging a woman to go for filing a case under section 498a rather than opting for other ways to settle the issue. The main reason for filing a case under this section is that under this section, a lawyer has scope to take a huge amount of settlement money from the husband. As a lawyer, he gets around 20% of the settlement amount which could be a good deal. It is also seen that sometimes, even the lawyers from both the sides shake hands with each other and in return try to extend the case as much as possible and take the money from the husband and get their share in that settlement amount equally.

No, there’s isn’t much-defined charges or fees for providing bail/anticipatory bail. The charges entirely depend on the case to case and the potential of the lawyer. The factors which conclude the amount of bail include: In which court the bail application is to be filed The status of the lawyer, that is the seniority and reputation The number of accused involved in a case Difficulty of case Thus, it is adviced to tell the budget to the lawyer in advance.

The judiciary called its misuse as legal terrorism. Justice Malimath, former chief justice of Karnataka and Kerala high courts formed a committee that recommended in their report that section 498a shall be made bailable and a compoundable offence according to the recent trends going on with its misuse by many women.

The case normally runs for 4- 5 years.

Generally no. Primarily a girl is sent back to her matrimonial home by making her understand and giving a warning to the husband and his family by the police. A case is filed only when a woman is found dead in such cases.

One can write PIL in the courts regarding the issue of the woman to support her. One can also write blogs on the issue to uplift the support from society towards her.

By the way of dismissed, it is meant that the reason because of which one has filed a plea in the court has not been granted, and hence, dismissed. By the phrase dispose of, it is meant that the court has given certain directions either to the plaintiff or respondent to do or not to do certain things. The relief you saught may or may not be granted but some directions are been given by the court.

es, a wife can, at any point in time during the pendency of such suit in the court of law, can demand the husband for interim maintenance. There is not any specific time limit that one can only ask for interim maintenance during such and such period only. She can ask for interim maintenance at any time, even years will not bar her from that.

One can look into the behaviour of his going-to-be-wife to be safe from such future proceedings under section 498a and related: Keep a check on her family, are they newly-rich and are into show-off of materialistic things? Or they have some connections with bureaucrats or politicians, or they have a history of filing cases against anybody or everybody. In short, is she belongs to a typical ‘not good’ family and is raised badly? An abusive woman or her family tries to pressure the man or his family to take up commitments immediately as such they have never met such people with whom they feel like get connected so easily. Jealousy can be one of the traits in her to get you under 498a. Over possessiveness, constant calls, unexpected arrival at the office, smelling of some other perfume from your shirt, going through collar for lipstick marks and checking your pockets. Being interrogative is another form of warning sign from her. She would always be curious to know with whom you were, the reason for being late, infact she wants her name in all your assets and property. She would expect from you to be a perfect man, will always force you to help her and her family needs. She would try to cut you off from your friends, family and relatives, in short, will try to keep you in isolation and blame others if any problem arises between you both. There would always be someone, her boss, colleague, ex husband, ex boyfriend behind every fault if anything goes wrong. Making you responsible for every such other thing. She would always use phrases like “you make me angry” rather than saying “I am angry” or “you make me irritate” rather than “I am irritated”. Would get easily insulted. Shall be cruel with animals or even children. That is, would expect children to do extraordinary things which they can’t, for example, expecting from a 1 year old to walk, getting irritated from a 2 year child to pee in diaper. Asking about your sexual fantasies, enjoys initiating and controlling pleasure moments. Verbal abuse with you and your family, cursing them, criticizing them, cruel, calls you or your family with bad and ugly names. Expects you to obey what her family asks for. Having a problem of sudden mood swings, i.e., being a sweet mature girl and within a minute changing into a cruel confusing woman. She shall be making different unusual statements like one should always obey what a woman says or saying something rubbish and disgraceful and after that saying everybody talks like that. If one is going through these scenes or is seeing these kind of aspects in a woman, you need to get help ASAP.